Former Australian speedster Mitchell Johnson, in his autobiography “Resilient”, has revealed that he felt upset after delivering a bouncer to Virat Kohli that hit him on his helmet during the first Test against India at Adelaide in 2014. He has also written how Hughes’ death made him fear the game.
After Michael Clarke and Brendon McCullum, Mitchell Johnson became the new man to join the autobiography club lately. The former Aussie spearhead has revealed the other side of his life in his book and portrayed himself as not that dangerous bloke as he seemed on the field.
Describing the horrible death of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes as one of the most tragic
Johnson wrote, "I think I was in as good a place with my cricket as I had ever been, but my love of the game was put into perspective before the start of the 2014–15 season.
Not many people loved cricket as much as Phillip Hughes did. When he died – two days after being struck in the neck by a ball – it was hard to love it or play it the same way I had when he was alive. That horrible tragedy changed so many things.”
He said the incident had changed the way he perceived his game earlier and that he became very conscious while bowling bouncers.
He wrote, "I wrestled with the fact that it could have been me. I wasn’t scared of being hurt; I was terrified that it could have been me that hurt him."
Johnson went to claim that he was never the same bowler after Hughes's death. He found it hard to look at Phil's picture that was put up in the dressing room ahead of the first Test against India in December 2014 at Adelaide.
"It was my job to intimidate batsmen. To bowl short and fast. To make them play from the fear of being hit by the ball. I questioned all of that. And when I did bowl a bouncer and hit Virat Kohli on the helmet in Adelaide during the first Test match after Hughesy’s death, I felt sick. I couldn’t drop short with any conviction for a long time after that."
He recalled an incident where he peppered Hughes in the nets to release his frustration.
"I had no idea the consequences could be fatal – that never crossed my mind or anyone’s and the memory of that session filled me with dread.”
Johnson stated, "Cricket has lost a bit of its soul after Hughes's death and it wasn't a coincidence that few cricketers of the then Australian squad left the game gradually. The team had come to a point of low after the death of Hughes and all of a sudden everything felt hollow."